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About Floridiana

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    traveling, reading, watching nature

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  1. Downtown Vienna is not on the Danube, only the suburbs are.
  2. Floridiana

    Knitter - Stitcher gatherings

    It was in the daily planner on the recent Grand Asia & Pacific cruise.
  3. The library is still there. Chess games, puzzles, comfortable chairs, reading desk, maps, books. I did not check the passenger book exchange section, but the cabinet is still there. Are you joining the world cruise? Enjoy! We liked server Raja in the Lido, servers Hendra and Leonardo, Gan and Denny in the dining room. Other passengers thought THEIR servers were the best. ;-) If you see Joyce and Glen at the front desk, tell them hi from their most ardent fans.
  4. You're welcome. I sent the review to cc, but can't find it any more on the cc website.
  5. MS Amsterdam Sept 30 – Dec 21, 2018 Our background: Couple in our early 70s, well travelled, cruised on 15 different lines including HAL. We pick cruises for their itineraries. This 82 day cruise was the longest we had ever taken and we are pleased to say that it was also one of the best. Fellow passengers: Not surprising on such a long cruise, more than two thirds were 66 and over. Most were avid HAL cruisers and many like long cruises on the Amsterdam. Ship: In good shape; frequent cleaning going on inside and maintenance outside. Cabin: We had suite 7028 and enjoyed the extra service on the navigation deck. The balcony had a lot of space; the refrigerator was filled with sodas that we replaced with the water bottles that were brought daily. The cabin was large enough for us with ample storage. We have enjoyed more modern décor and more sophisticated storage cabinets on newer ships of European lines, but we were happy with this cabin. The stewards made it spotless. The suite comes with free laundry which is the greatest thing since sliced bread. The laundry looked better than at home. Crew: The hotel staff is definitely the best we have ever encountered. On other ships, it is often just a few members who go out of their way to be helpful. On the MS Amsterdam, the warm and friendly service was consistent. Everyone in the Lido buffet restaurant, the dining room, and the Neptune Lounge went way beyond what we are used to from other ships, including the Hapag Lloyd luxury line. Nothing was too much for our waiters, tea and honey when I had a cold, spicy sambal when I thought an Asian dish needed more pep, crispy dinner rolls, you name it. Food: I believe the food budget was higher on this cruise than on our previous 14 day b2b cruises on HAL ships. We are picky about authentic taste. We were happy with the European dishes that tasted just like in the Old Country. There was daily sushi and an Asian counter in the Lido, but also all the American favorites. Daytime activities: There were so many to choose from that every passenger could find several to enjoy. I went to water color, arts & crafts, and Tai Chi taught by Master Cathy Chen, but there were many more options. My husband played bridge organized by a bridge instructor. All the presenters were interesting with topics on the regions where we travelled. Port information speakers were excellent. We had wonderful cultural ambassadors in Australia and from Fiji to Hawaii. Courageous passengers learned to dance the hula and to play the ukulele. Conclusion: We are looking into booking another HAL grand voyage.
  6. Floridiana

    Gala or formal nights

    Don't go by what some people post, go by HAL's own literature. It's Gala night. Ours were themed. We also had theme nights that were not declared gala.
  7. Floridiana

    Shore excursions

    The Exec tour presentations were very valuable on our 82 day cruise. Some less fit people should have listened and heeded the advice. Some passengers did and changed the excursions to match their fitness level. And yes, excursions were canceled because of lack of participants. It's good to learn about alternatives.
  8. Floridiana

    HAL Pinnacle Grill and Neptune Suite

    On the Amsterdam, they had a sign outside the Neptune Lounge that it was only for Pinnacle/Neptune Suite guests. We did not have breakfast there, but other guests did. In the beginning, we had breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill, but we did not like the slow service. The dining room was much better, more light, more space, a view of the outside, faster service because they were better organized than the Pinnacle Grill staff we had. Actually the service was so slow that I became impatient, never mind children.
  9. Floridiana

    US State Department - China Travel Advisory

    We have just come back from a cruise with Chinese ports, no issues. We did tourist things and did not import banned literature or other banned items.
  10. Floridiana

    Shuttle from Yokohama to Tokyo April 27, 2019

    Thank you. DH has already sent an e-mail to our travel agent.
  11. Floridiana

    Shuttle from Yokohama to Tokyo April 27, 2019

    BBMacLaird, Thank you for the clarification. I wonder whether they have a shuttle from Haneda airport to the Yokohama Pier on April 27 when we start our cruise. We arrive with Air Canada.
  12. Floridiana

    Shuttle from Yokohama to Tokyo April 27, 2019

    Do you mean here is a limousine bus service from Haneda to Yokohama? Do you know the exact destination in Yokohama?
  13. Floridiana

    HAL Amsterdam in 2020

    Cruise NH, I was on the Grand Asia and Pacific cruise. It was wonderful. I'll write a review when we have settle a bit.
  14. Floridiana

    Visa for Oman and Jordan

    We did not need a visa for Oman (US passport), haven't been to Jordan. Indian passport holder may be a completely different story. Check Oman's and Jordan's embassies website. Ships sometimes take care of visas but not always.
  15. Floridiana

    Clothing Tips for Tours on the Mediterranean

    Running shoes and ecco walking sandals for me. Any other good walking shoe is fine. Bring a lighter pair for the ship so your feet get a rest from the outdoor walking shoe.